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Perceptions and Expectations of Youth With Disabilities  (NLTS2)
NCSER 2007-3006
September 2007

Demographic Differences

Differences among youth with disabilities who are distinguished by gender, age, household income, or race/ethnicity are not common. For example:

  • There are no differences between demographic groups in their scores on measures of personal autonomy or psychological empowerment or their feelings of competence in expressing their feelings, getting adults to listen to them, or finding information they need.

  • Different demographic groups share common views of being cared about by parents, friends, and other adults and being paid attention to by their families.

Some differences are apparent, however:

  • Girls are more likely than boys to report being very sensitive to others' feelings, whereas boys are more likely to report being good athletes and having strong mechanical abilities.

  • Adolescent girls with disabilities are more likely than boys to say they frequently turn to friends and to siblings for support, as are White youth relative to African American youth with disabilities.

  • Youth from middle-income households more frequently turn to friends for support than do those from lower-income households.

  • Employed older youth are less likely than younger peers to report turning frequently to their bosses or supervisors for support.

  • Older youth are less likely than younger students to participate in activities at school.